Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are both over-the-counter drugs that help with pain. People use them for a variety of conditions such as fever, headaches, toothaches, joint pain, muscle pain, etc. Some crucial differences do exist between the two drugs, however. Here’s some information about that.
Ibuprofen goes by the brand names of Advil, Motrin, and Midol. Acetaminophen goes by the brand name of Tylenol. Both of these substances can show up in prescription narcotic mixes such as Percocet and Vicodin, as well. They may have other brand names, but those are the most common.
Ibuprofen falls within a class of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. Acetaminophen is an analgesic. The most significant distinction between the two drugs is that ibuprofen deals with inflammation aggressively. Acetaminophen does not deal with inflammation aggressively and thus may not be as useful for conditions such as fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis, which cause massive inflammation. Ibuprofen targets explicitly prostaglandins, and it halts their production processes. Acetaminophen tries to block the signaling, which may not be as effective as stopping the production of the hormones.
Ibuprofen usually lasts about four to six hours, and people start to feel the effects of it within 30 minutes. Acetaminophen has the same start time but may last two hours longer than ibuprofen does. They are both effective for bringing fevers down, according to patients who have tried them. Ibuprofen-based treatments received three out of five quality stars on sites like consumerhealthdigest.com for a variety of ailments such as headaches, menstrual cramps, toothaches, and more.
Both treatments have side effects associated with them. Studies have linked ibuprofen to side effects such as belching, indigestion, heartburn, abdominal cramps, and other gastrointestinal issues. Acetaminophen has been linked to headaches, stomach problems, bleeding, headaches, and the like. Many of the side effects occurred in people who had taken high amounts of the drugs. You can minimize the chance of experiencing side effects by taking the lowest possible effective dosage and only using it as the manufacturer instructs.
Both acetaminophen and ibuprofen are on the inexpensive end of the spectrum. The prices vary according to the pill count and the dosage strength. The pricing difference depends on whether you buy a generic version of the pills or a brand-name version, as well. You can typically buy 100 200-milligram tablets of ibuprofen or 100 250-milligrams of acetaminophen for less than $5 if you purchase the generic versions. Therefore, they are both healthy options for your budget and are adequate for self-care of mild to medium pain.
Which One Is Better for You?
Your choice depends on your health. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen can both be harmful if you take too much of them, and they can be detrimental to people with certain conditions, as well. For example, a person who has kidney disease should not consume ibuprofen or any other NSAID. People with liver disease may want to avoid acetaminophen. You should always talk to your primary health provider if you have either of those issues or another condition such as cardiac disease or conditions that thins the blood. You may have to take the less favorable of the two if you have an illness that makes taking the other one dangerous.
You should take these items only as directed even if your doctor approves one of them for home care usage. Never exceed the recommended daily dosage of either drug for any reason. Contact a medical facility for the professional management of your ailment. Medical care specialists can develop a strategic long-term care plan that will preserve your strength, energy, and quality of life.
Click here to learn how Texas Neuro Spine services can help you!